What I ought to be doing today is grappling with the complexities of International law. However, my brain seems to have gone on strike, so what I have actually decided to do is tidy out my wardrobe!
That might not sound like a particularly good use of my time… until you see my wardrobe.
I’ve been meaning to tackle this particular disaster zone for quite a while, because it’s totally unuseable in that state. I can’t get anything out without the scarves falling on my head. I can’t see what dresses I’ve got hung in there because the coats are in the way. And goodness me, the base of the wardrobe. Let’s take a closer look at that really painful bit, shall we?
So I put on a CD (Shirley Bassey’s Finest Collection, disc 2, if anyone is interested) and dragged everything except the clothes out onto the floor.
I hadn’t quite realised how many pairs of shoes I own until I saw them all in rows on my floor. The worst part is that there are more pairs scattered around my parents’ houses. Oh dear.
I’m very fond of some of those shoes, especially the six inch gingham stilettoes, but it isn’t much use if I have to don a hard hat to delve in and find them every time I want to wear a pair. Most of the time I just wear the same pair over and over.
Once the shoes were out, it was looking a lot clearer. The big pink hat took a bit of reshaping, and I stuffed it with brown packing paper to keep its shape before stashing it safely on top of my wardrobe. I also slid the rolls of Christmas wrapping paper up there, to avoid any further squashing. There were lots of bits of ribbon, paper and odd items like spare bike lights and carrier bags still lying around which I wanted to get up off the floor – clutter attracts clutter when you aren’t looking.
I couldn’t in good conscience say that this was a good use of my storage hanger. The bubble wrap and padded envelopes are very useful for packing fragile objects into, but I won’t be packing up my room and moving again for another six months. In the interim that storage could be a lot more useful! So I moved the packing material into one of the plastic storage boxes which live on top of my wardrobe, ready for when I move out again.
Now that I had somewhere to put things, I could sift through the pile of remaining items and store them away. Bike-related things like waterproof trousers, a padded seat cover and spare lights went into the top section, with the helmet hung beside it. My suit hanger and umbrellas went into the middle, where I can easily get at them on a wet day. And the bottom compartment now houses my fancy summer scarves, a clutch bag and my belts. The two winter scarves are looped around the hanger of the coat I normally wear them with, to make it easier to remember to put them on. Carrier bags went into the home I already had for them (why weren’t they there to start with? How did they get out?) and bits of ribbon and paper went either in the bin, or in the storage boxes.
With all that clutter out of the bottom, my shoes could go back in! Summer sandals and spare black heels are in the little plastic boxes. The three pairs of shoes I wear most often are now tucked neatly under the end of my bed, where I can get at them quickly without falling over them all the time. Eventually I’m going to get one of those fancy shoe storage units, or maybe a shoe hanging bag, but for now they are marshalled neatly and I can see at a glance what I’ve got. Much better.
Next time I need a break from work, I’ve got another two areas I want to tackle: my bureau, and my cupboard.
I’m not sure I even want to show you what my bureau looks like. When I first moved into this room I was really pleased with the idea that I could use the bureau as an alternative work-space. I could have a table, and a desk! I could write letters on its folding top, and pretend to be a Victorian!
Erm, not so much.
Somehow, despite all my best intentions, my bureau has become the home for everything that doesn’t have anywhere else to go – and quite often a fair number of things that do. I just open it up a couple of inches and drop things into the mess, not ever brave enough to fold out the top fully until now. It’s worse than I thought! So that’s the next task.
And once that’s sorted, I’ll tackle my food cupboard… again. I’ve organised it over and over, but no matter how I shift things around, I still discover forgotten, rotten vegetables squashed at the back, and I still get attacked by falling plastic boxes when I open the door too quickly.
There is a spare shelf in there, but no brackets to hold it up. So it’s currently just a piece of wood, sitting on the bottom of my cupboard. I’m not keen on the idea of buying some brackets myself but if the college hasn’t got any spare, I might have to. Then I can move the crockery onto its own little shelf and make better use of the space at the top. I’ve ordered some more kitchen implements and storage boxes so it’s about to get even worse… And before anyone asks why I don’t use my kitchen cupboard to store them, I do. Two of them (a kind neighbour who doesn’t cook offered me the use of hers as well). I have an embarassing quantity of kitchen appliances. I have five chopping boards. It’s probably excessive. I can’t help it, it’s an illness.
And now that all that is done, it’s time to get back to work. Sigh.